San Manuel Band supports TOCC

Feb 9th, 2012 | By | Category: 23-3: Technology and Culture, Tribal College News

GIFT GIVERS. In July 2011, TOCC’s Andrea Ahmed (left) and Francina Francisco- Garcia visited the San Manuel Band’s Chairman James C. Ramos to thank the band for its gift of $50,000 toward TOCC’s new campus construction.

In the summer of 2011, the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians contributed $50,000 to Tohono O’odham Community College’s (TOCC, Sells, AZ) New Campus Campaign. The gift supports key infrastructure development for the new campus that TOCC is constructing 10 miles east of its temporary location in Sells, AZ.

Andrea Ahmed, associate director of fundraising and development at TOCC, identified the San Manuel Band as a potential contributor to the New Campus Campaign. Through her research, she noticed the band’s history of giving for education, health, and economic development, and felt there was a perfect fit between the San Manuel Band’s values and TOCC’s needs.

In addition, Ahmed says that as a Tohono O’odham she feels an affinity with the Serrano. Both the Serrano and the Tohono O’odham are basket weavers; they both sing and use gourd rattles for music; and both cultures were influenced by the history of Spanish missions, she explains. “We are so grateful that the San Manuel Band, who are the ‘People of the Pines’ and who live near abundant water, decided to help us Desert People with building a new college campus,” she says. The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians is located in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, just north of the city of Highland, CA.

For more information on TOCC’s construction of new campuses, contact Jane Latané, vice president of Institutional Research and Development, at (520) 383- 8401. Or visit the college’s website at and the San Manuel Band’s website at

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